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Kirkwall

  • Stromness lies in the west of the Orkney islands, huddled around the sheltered bay of Hamnavoe. The town owes its existence to this natural harbour, and its history reflects changes in maritime life over the centuries.

    Hire cars can be collected both at the airport and in Kirkwall and a shuttle bus runs between the airport and the town. The ferry enters the terminal from the Hoy Sound, nestled beneath the dramatic rise of Brinkies Brae.

     Stromness is 16 miles from Kirkwall and 19 miles from Kirkwall Airport.

     This is part of the multi-country North Sea Cycle Route and the National Cycle Network and are being signed as Route 1 with blue cycle signs

     Starting at the terminal building on the pier in the village of Stromness, take the A965 passes over the Brig o’ Waithe and Stenness, the Heart of Neolithic Orkney and its prehistoric monuments.

    The Standing Stones of Stenness date back to 3100 BC, making it one of the oldest stone circles in Britain, to the junction take the A964 to Orphir about 11 miles.

     Travel through the village of Orphir, approximately 9 miles south west of Kirkwall, taking the road marked Gyre on the left just after the school in the village.

    Half a mile further along the road you come to Houton Bay, 5 miles south east of Stromness situated on a minor road off the A964.

    Then come back onto the main road again the A964, The road climbs steeply from here around the Hill of Midland with views at the top down Hoy Sound and the village of Stromness, make your way down to Waulkmill Bay a tidal bay on the south west coast, there are spectacular views down Scapa Flow with the surrounding being identified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Scottish Natural Heritage.

    From Waulkmill Bay take the A964 to kirkwall heading past Scapa.

     Take the Ayre road to Holm of Grimbister on the A965 about 6 miles a inhabited tidal islet in the Orkney archipelago, located in the Bay of Firth near Finstown it is connected to Mainland Orkney by a causeway, with stunning views out to sea, From Grimbister carry on to the village of of Finstown about a mile along the coast situated in the Bay of Firth, halfway between Stromness and Kirkwall on Mainland Orkney, whose fringe is a shallow intertidal mudflat.

    Finstown is situated at the junction of the A965 and the A966, here you will find Binsgarth Woods with a designated path that leads you through one of Orkney’s few natural wooded areas. Visitors will also find a wide range of accommodation and holiday lets beside the village along with options for eating out.

    From Finstown at the Junction take the A965 to the village of Sultigeo Orkney’s ancient Neolithic heartland and back to Stromness about 9 miles.